Daimler promoted the third generation Smart For Two electric drive car at the September 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) with eBall, an interactive game event using cars to play a digital game of Ping Pong. The interactive event was designed to demonstrate the joy of driving a highly responsive car. Visitors were invited to sign in with their driver’s license, and given instructions on forward and reverse before engaging in a live duel using laser measurement technology. The campaign was extended with print, outdoor and guerilla elements on a European tour in 2012. The campaign won a Gold Cube for Interactive (Physical Innovation) at the 91st ADC Awards.
Advertising Agency: Proximity BBDO, Berlin
Creative Directors: Ton Hollander and Jens Ringena
Art Director: Daniel Schweinzer
Copywriter: Lukas Liske
Since the economic crisis of 2009, more and more readers cancelled their newspaper subscriptions. Our mission: convince them to renew their subscriptions, using a direct mailing. Preferably by playing on the emotional bond and the interactive relationship between the reader and their regional newspaper. After all: it’s the local readers who make the news. In other words: we need them not only as a subscriber, but equally as a source for most of the content in Gazet van Antwerpen (paper for the province Antwerp) and Het Belang van Limburg (paper for the province Limburg).
So why not show them the direct result of their decision? We mailed the readers a copy of their local newspaper that was completely empty. The front page showed only the header, and had a hand-written personal message from the editor in chief on it: “Without you, it’s empty around here…” Inside, only the editorial was printed. The editor in chief looks back on the long and splendid relationship they had for months, often even years. He asks himself: where did it go wrong, what did I do wrong? He ends with a warm plea to make a new start.
The creative execution.
An emotional approach was successful as ex-subscribers do not respond to rational arguments (no time to read, too expensive). The empty paper was a good way to express the feelings of the editor in chief who felt it was pretty empty without the reader. Besides, the empty paper was a nice way to say the reader had to miss a bunch of news every day.
In the past, an administrative approach generated a response rate of maximum 3%. The emotional approach of the empty newspaper resulted in a double digit response. Overall, 11,67% of the lapsed subscribers decided to renew. As a extra benefit, this approach was pretty ecological. We used blank newspapers that were not (for quality reasons) being used for printing newspapers. So no extra trees where cut down to make this direct mail.
Advertising Agency: Proximity BBDO, Brussels